“Our people are our greatest assets!” One of the most repeated and paraphrased statement in the corporate world is becoming increasingly central to the way organizations face the current economic storm… Most obviously so in the way they downsize and lay people off.
Let me underline and put my sarcasm in big, bold letters here. For those who follow downsizing RSS feeds, it is becoming increasingly clear that only a handful of companies are using the crisis to better equip themselves to face the future and prepare for recovery. Because, at the end of the day, it’s all about:
1. Being alive after the storm.
2. Being in a better shape than all the other wrecks after the storm. (Fiat seems to be doing quite well in that field actually)
This basically (and quite obviously) means that downsizing strategies will only help keep afloat. And unless They’re carefully thought over and performed smartly, could seriously damage the company’s ability to cope once the trouble is gone. Nothing new, it’s all been said before…
So who should the company keep, recruit and get on board to be ready once the trouble is gone?
A typical answer for this kind of question is the notorious, Business-School type, “it depends” answer. Well, yes, it will of course depend on what your company does, and who your customers are and what your long-term strategy is…
Most importantly, however, what is going to differentiate your company from its competitors after the crisis is the way it is going to adapt to the new environment; What is going to make you better is how well you figure out what the new situation is, what it requires and how you can best address the new challenges ahead, regardless of the industry you’re in!
After the crisis, a big dose of creativity will be required in your management teams and you will have to make sure you get those creative people in before the competition does.
In Belbin-Speak, that means: “Get those Plants in your teams NOW! After the crisis, when the talent pool dries again, it will be too late!” Start hiring the best innovators, the best idea generators… they will be the ones that will help you get back on track (once the track is back).
The “Belbin Team Roles” theory argues that 9 roles are needed to get your teams to work optimally and efficiently, generating ideas and harmoniously taking them through the process of turning them into reality.
For a harmonious recovery, if you’re already using Belbin’s theory in your recruitment policies, don’t forget about getting all nine roles in. But do also think of how you can best attract and get those brains in.
May your week (and your recovery) be truly engaging… and may your comments get flourishing!